Preparing for Worship // July 17, 2016

Preparing for Worship // July 17, 2016

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In the last two years, my wife and I have lived in two different houses (in two different cities), and we are about to move into our third. Over our first three years of marriage, we will live in three different houses. About the time we get comfortable in one place we end up moving to another. And yet, somehow, despite all of the moves, each of these houses has in its own way felt like home. As human beings, we have a remarkable ability to make a home out of anywhere.

During my middle school years, like so many in my generation, I discovered the magical world of Harry Potter and instantly fell in love. While the plot centers around a world of wizards, witches, and magical creatures, the real magic of the story centers around the discovery of friendship and, ultimately, home. After spending the first eleven years of his life under the oppressive guardianship of his aunt and uncle, Harry learns that he is a wizard and leaves for the wizarding school Hogwarts. He quickly grows to love the school because of the magic and adventure but even more so because of the friendships he develops. Hogwarts becomes his home, and as we read about his experiences, it becomes our home as well. It’s hard to read the Harry Potter books and not long for a home where we’re accepted and loved. We long to be swept away from the difficulty of our earthly relationships to a safe place where our deepest longings for loving relationships will be met.

What these two illustrations have in common is the fact that home comes from relationships. No place can ever truly become home unless the people we love are there. The reason that both of the places I have lived over the last two years have become home is because I have lived there with my wife. She is what makes it home. In the same way, Hogwarts was home for Harry Potter because his friends were there. When we talk about longing for home, what we really long for is acceptance and love. Heaven is our home because only in heaven will we experience the only love and acceptance that will truly satisfy us. In heaven, we will feel the full force of our Heavenly Father’s love. Let us keep this in mind as we enter worship this week. The acceptance that we desire, which we are tempted to look for in other people throughout the week, is only found in the God that we gather together to worship. So let us worship Him all the more, knowing that He is all we need.

THE WORD

Scripture: Revelation 21:1-8
Sermon: Hope In Our New Home

SONGS

All Must Be Well (Matthew Smith)
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All Things New (Red Mountain Music)
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Abide With Me (Justin Smith)
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Song of Preparation: Jerusalem, My Happy Home (J. D. Goodwyne)
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Song for the Supper and Song of Response: We Will Feast In The House Of Zion  (Sandra McCracken)
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